More news about Amazon. The French have found a distinctly un-American way of protecting small bookstores (“Amazon Ordered to End Free Delivery on Books in France,” by Peter Sayer, IDG News Service):
Amazon.com may not offer free delivery on books in France, the high court in Versailles has ruled.
The action, brought in January 2004 by the French Booksellers’ Union (Syndicat de la librairie française), accused Amazon of offering illegal discounts on books and even of selling some books below cost.
The court gave Amazon 10 days to start charging for the delivery of books, which should at least allow the company to maintain the offer through the end-of-year gift-giving season. After that, it must pay a fine of €1,000 (US$1,470) per day that it continues to offer free delivery. It must also pay €100,000 in compensation to the booksellers’ union.
Retail prices, particularly of books, are tightly regulated in France.